Restoring a finish on a Stanley 45

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Forum topic by brianl posted 04-20-2011 05:15 AM 3643 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3352 days

04-20-2011 05:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: stanley 45 nickel plating refinish plane restoration refurbishing

A while back I picked up a rusty old Stanley 45. I spent some time cleaning it up and while it certainly looks better (and works fine!) it’s still pretty rough. While I’m a tool collector, I normally collect “users” and don’t get too caught up in the looks. The chipped and missing nickel is getting to me though!

As I see it right now, my options for the 45 are:
1. Strip the rest of the plating off and go for bare metal.
2. Strip the rest and paint it.
3. DIY nickel plating at home.
4. Send it off somewhere to be nickel plated.

#1 is a LOT of work and I’m not sure how it would turn out. #2 looks tacky to me to be honest. I know some people do this, but it has no appeal to me. #3 I’ve never done anything remotely like nickel plating. Is it hard? Expensive? Dangerous? #4 Again, no experience with this…

So what do you guys say? Any options I overlooked?

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

2 replies so far

View Vince's profile


1183 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 04-20-2011 06:12 AM

I too have a Stanley 45 and I need to refinish it also. So go ahead and sent it out for nickel plaiting so I can see how it looks and if it’s worth the cost

-- Vince

View brendandahl's profile


9 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 04-21-2011 09:22 PM

I recently ran into the same issues as you, but while restoring some parts to an old mitre box.

#2 I played around with several nickel colored spray paints and a few looked pretty close, but I agree with you that its not a great solution. The best one I found was krylon brushed metallic satin nickel, but its only rated for indoor use and didn’t seem very durable. Though, you could do a clear coat on top as well.

#3 There are few companies that make “home nickel plating kits”. I’ve also seen instructions on how to make your own nickel plating solutions. From what I gather the nickel solution can be quite toxic and should not be disposed of down the sewer. Even the rinse water should be disposed of specially(dilution I believe). I decided to rule out doing it at home because I don’t want to be responsible for disposing of the chemicals.

#4 I looked into locally getting the parts re-plated, overall it was probably a less material than you have. I was quoted 45-60 dollars including stripping the old nickel.

In the end I decided to accept the imperfections and think of them as added character. If I ever have more money I’ll probably let the pros re-nickel plate it.

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